It may have taken awhile, but Square Enix and Team Ninja have finally showcased two new fighters for the upcoming “Dissidia Final Fantasy” arcade fighter game that will be coming to Japan soon. The new characters are fan-favorite loner Squall Leonhart from “Final Fantasy 8” and Bart Klauser from “Final Fantasy V.” Both Squall and Bartz previously appeared in the PlayStation Portable versions of the “Dissidia” games.
A report from Siliconera states that the characters were revealed during an hour-long live stream of the upcoming fighting game, which can be seen below. Fans interested in seeing the new characters in action can skip to 46:30 if they want to see Bartz or 52:20 if they want to see Squall.
Both characters seem to have similar play styles to their PSP counterparts, but with some new moves and better graphics added in. Squall is still a close-range fighter, with a powerful ranged finisher at his disposal, while Bartz is one of the more unique characters in the game, switching between close-combat weapons and his trusty bow and arrow.
Visually, Squall mirrors his original character design in “Final Fantasy 8” and the character model seen in the PSP version, as does Bartz, who looks identical to his PSP model, but not his 16-bit character model from “Final Fantasy 5.” Gematsu has said that these characters were still in development, so it’s possible for these characters to get some bonus costumes or new attacks in the final release.
Despite not appearing in the first trailer of the game, it’s not that huge a surprise that Squall Leonhart made it in the game, due to the popularity of the character and “Final Fantasy 8,” which many consider to be one of the best in the series. Not only has the character appeared in the previous “Dissidia” games from Square Enix, but the character has also appeared in the “Kingdom Hearts” games, with long hair instead of short hair.
While not as popular as Squall, Bartz has gained a number of fans thanks to his appearances in the first two “Dissidia” games. While games like “Final Fantasy 5” were popular in the Nintendo era of the 1980s and 1990s, the series' popularity peaked in the original PlayStation when “Final Fantasy 7” came out.
“Dissidia Final Fantasy” is set to come to arcades this year in Japan and so far no news has been announced regarding the game coming to the West. Given how hyped the fans around the world are, it still remains a possibility.